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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

News: Rosewater on Design

Mark Rosewater, the head designer for Magic: the Gathering, recently wrote a couple of posts about good design of games.  You can see the full posts for Part 1 and Part 2.  In it, he discusses ten essential design principles:

1) Good design is innovative.
2) Good design makes a product useful.
3) Good design is aesthetic.
4) Good design helps us to understand a product.
5) Good design is unobtrusive.
6) Good design is honest.
7) Good design is durable.
8) Good design is consequent to the last detail.
9) Good design is concerned with the environment.
10) Good design is as little design as possible.
For those of you who may be entering the Rio Grande game contest I posted about earlier, you may want to give it a read as you design your game. 
If I may grossly paraphrase Rosewater's posts, good design is about getting information to the user, without a lot of clutter.  The design's purpose should be an attractive method of telling the player what they need to know to play.  But, a designer should be wary of putting every rule on every component for fear of information overload.
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